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Intrinsic motivation.

by S. M. Arnsten
The American journal of occupational therapy. : official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association ()

Abstract

The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) is a multidimensional measurement device intended to assess participants subjective experience related to a target activity in laboratory experiments. It has been used in several experiments related to intrinsic motivation and self-regulation (e.g., Ryan, 1982; Ryan, Mims & Koestner, 1983; Plant & Ryan, 1985; Ryan, Connell, & Plant, 1990; Ryan, Koestner & Deci, 1991; Deci, Eghrari, Patrick, & Leone, 1994). The instrument assesses participants interest/enjoyment, perceived competence, effort, value/usefulness, felt pressure and tension, and perceived choice while performing a given activity, thus yielding six subscale scores. Recently, a seventh subscale has been added to tap the experiences of relatedness, although the validity of this subscale has yet to be established. The interest/enjoyment subscale is considered the self-report measure of intrinsic motivation; thus, although the overall questionnaire is called the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, it is only the one subscale that assesses intrinsic motivation, per se. As a result, the interest/enjoyment subscale often has more items on it that do the other subscales. The perceived choice and perceived competence concepts are theorized to be positive predictors of both self-report and behavioral measures of intrinsic motivation, and pressure/tension is theorized to be a negative predictor of intrinsic motivation. Effort is a separate variable that is relevant to some motivation questions, so is used it its relevant. The value/usefulness subscale is used in internalization studies (e.g., Deci et al, 1994), the idea being that people internalize and become self-regulating with respect to activities that they experience as useful or valuable for themselves. Finally, the relatedness subscale is used in studies having to do with interpersonal interactions, friendship formation, and so on.

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